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CVS Caremark details genetic benefit management service

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WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark Corp. plans to offer a genetic benefit management (GBM) service in tandem with Generation Health Inc.

The integrated GBM service will be launched for a select group of CVS Caremark pharmacy benefit management (PBM) clients in the coming months, with the product becoming available to all clients in January 2011, CVS Caremark said Wednesday.

According to the company, the initial offering will focus on 13 drug therapies, including six (Imuran, Nolvadex, Plavix, Tabloid, Tegretol and Ziagen) dispensed via CVS Caremark’s PBM service and seven (Pegasys and Copegus for treatment of hepatitis C, and the oncology medications Gleevec, Tasigna, Sprycel, Tarceva and Tykerb) dispensed through its specialty pharmacy.

For each drug, testing will be coordinated through the industry’s Best Test Genetics Network, a preferred provider organization of diagnostic service providers that offer evidence-based genetic and molecular testing.

"We developed this program by reviewing the scientific and clinical evidence to determine where we can have the greatest impact to improve pharmacy care for clients by making genetic benefit management an integral part of our PBM offering," Troy Brennan, executive vice president and chief medical officer at CVS Caremark, said in a statement. "There is a growing desire by clients to tailor pharmaceutical treatment based on genetic inheritance, and our new program helps save payors and patients time and money while improving health outcomes."

CVS Caremark and Generation Health said they expect to expand their GBM service offerings down the road, as is warranted by research and medical advances.

"This offering strengthens CVS Caremark’s efforts to provide clients with a sophisticated, evidence-based clinical approach to genomic medicine," commented Rick Schatzberg, chief executive officer of Generation Health. "The emerging field of genomics is complex and challenging, and this offering will allow employers to better manage the process for ensuring that their employees are receiving the most effective genetic testing and access to genetic experts, resulting in prescribing tailored to individuals."

In late December, CVS Caremark said it acquired a majority interest in Generation Health in announcing that the GBM company’s CEO, Per Lofberg, was named president of CVS Caremark’s PBM unit. The previous month, the companies had unveiled a strategic partnership to expand pharmacogenomic (PGx) clinical and testing services for CVS Caremark PBM clients to improve care for patients who are nonresponsive to their medications or have adverse reactions.


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